New York Attorney General Sues SiriusXM Over Unfair Subscription Cancellation Practices

SiriusXM Radio, Inc. is facing a lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James over allegations of unfair subscription cancellation practices. The lawsuit claims that SiriusXM deliberately engages in long and burdensome cancellation processes, making it difficult for consumers to end their subscriptions. The investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that SiriusXM employs a strategy to trap consumers by forcing them to call or chat online with an agent to cancel a subscription. The process is intentionally drawn out, and agents are trained to not accept "no" for an answer, creating a frustrating experience for consumers.

SiriusXM, headquartered in New York City, has around 35 million subscribers, nearly 2 million of whom are in New York. The OAG initiated an investigation after receiving numerous complaints from consumers who were unable to cancel their subscriptions. The company's agents are reportedly trained to engage customers in a lengthy six-part conversation, including multiple retention offers, to delay the cancellation process. Despite the company's ability to cancel a subscription with a simple click or allow customers to do it themselves, the average cancellation time by phone is 11.5 minutes, and online cancellation takes about 30 minutes.

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Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that SiriusXM violated state and federal laws related to automatically renewing subscriptions by failing to provide a simple, timely, and easy-to-use cancellation mechanism. The company is also accused of engaging in fraud and deception by misleading subscribers and attempting to cancel. Attorney General James seeks full restitution for impacted subscribers nationwide, compensation for the time wasted during the deliberately lengthy cancellation process, disgorgement, penalties, and costs. The lawsuit aims to compel SiriusXM to implement a straightforward and user-friendly cancellation process.

The legal action underscores the importance of transparent and consumer-friendly cancellation processes, especially in the context of automatic renewal services. The lawsuit seeks to address the alleged unfair practices and ensure that consumers have the right to cancel subscriptions without unnecessary obstacles. The outcome of this case may have implications for other companies with subscription-based models, emphasizing the need for compliance with laws governing subscription renewals and cancellations.